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The Private Life of Plants: Travelling

   1994    Nature
Sir David Attenborough reveals plants as they have never been seen before - on the move and dangerously devious. About the major problems of life - growing, finding food, reproduction - and the varied ways plants have evolved to solve it. Filmed from the plant's point of view, using computer animations, fibre-optics and unique time-lapse photography. The first episode looks at how plants are able to move". The bramble is an aggressive example: it advances forcefully from side to side and, once settled on its course, there is little that can stand in its way. An altogether faster species is the birdcage plant, which inhabits Californian sand dunes. When its location becomes exposed, it shifts at great speed to another one with the assistance of wind — and it is this that allows many forms of vegetation to distribute their seeds. While not strictly a plant, the spores of fungi are also spread in a similar fashion. One of the most successful (and intricate) flowers to use the wind is the dandelion, whose seeds travel with the aid of 'parachutes'. They are needed to travel miles away from their parents, who are too densely packed to allow any new arrivals. Trees have the advantage of height to send their seeds further, and the cottonwood is shown as a specialist in this regard. The humidity of the tropical rainforest creates transportation problems, and the liana-species Alsomitra macrocarpa is one plant whose seeds are aerodynamic 'gliders'. Some, such as those of the sycamore, take the form of 'helicopters', while others, such as the squirting cucumber release their seeds by 'exploding'. Water is also a widely used method of propulsion. The tropical sea bean Entada gigas has one of the biggest fruits of all plants and is dispersed by water streams. However, most plants use living couriers, whether they be dogs, humans and other primates, ants or birds, etc., and to that end, they use colour and smell to signify when they are ripe for picking.
Series: The Private Life of Plants

What is the Right Diet for You 1of3

   2015    Medicine
Horizon investigates the idea that the best way to lose weight successfully is a personalised approach, diets tailored to our individual biology and psychology. In a groundbreaking experiment, Dr Chris van Tulleken and Tanya Byron join a team of experts to put 75 overweight volunteers on diets designed to tackle the specific reasons why they eat too much. The volunteers are put through a series of tests at a residential clinic to understand how their genes, hormones and psychology influence their eating behaviour. They are then put on the diets the experts believe are best suited to them. Can science succeed where other diets have failed?
Series: What is the Right Diet for You

Courtship

   2014    Nature
Competition to win a partner …has created some of the most extraordinary beauty and life-threatening violence anywhere in nature. Dazzling colours, elaborate dances and powerful weapons have all evolved to attract and defend a mate. The stakes could not be higher: without a mate, the journey of life ends here... sometimes literally.
Series: Life Story

Are Aliens Inside Us

   2015    Culture
Odds are excellent that extraterrestrial life exists. So why haven’t we found aliens out in the galaxy? Are we looking in the wrong places? New research shows we should look closer to home, even inside our bodies. It turns out that a lot of our DNA is from a mysterious, nonhuman source. Theoretically, alien microbial life can make the journey to Earth from distant worlds, and scientists are finding some unearthly microbes in our upper atmosphere. Could it be from outer space? Could we be part alien? It’s even possible alien life is already here as digital life forms, hiding inside our technology.
Series: Through the Wormhole Season 6

Bear Necessities

   2008    Science
One animal embodies all that is amazing about survival. It has adapted to wildly varying habitats and evolved unique weapons of survival; its greatest asset is its ferocious bite and it is evolutions ultimate survivor, but what species is it? Find out if a new bear species could be about to evolve before our very eyes.
Series: Evolutions
Oceans
Oceans

   2009    Nature
Vietnam in HD
Vietnam in HD

   2011    History
The Story of Maths
The Story of Maths

   2008    Science
The Beauty of Maps
The Beauty of Maps

   2010    Art
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
Cosmos
Cosmos

   1980    Science
Secrets of the Dead
Secrets of the Dead

   2017    History